“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”
-Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why
Summary from Goodreads
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
This highly controversial book, was not my favorite. I mean I liked most of it, but there was one thing that bugged me the whole way through.
The way it showed suicide.
Now, I am someone who has never had suicidal thoughts, so I can’t really give my perspective, nor can I relate in any way.
One of the things I disliked about this book, is that it glorifies suicide. The book shows that Hannah Baker committed suicide successfully, and made the other living humans on earth that knew her feel horrible. That’s a very dangerous topic to put out there in the Young Adult category.
I’m still a little confused on why Clay’s on the tapes. I read this kind of fast, and maybe I skipped something. I came to my own conclusion, that maybe Hannah secretly wanted Clay to release the tapes, because there’s nothing really bad about him on them? Was it to make him feel true pain, because… why not? I don’t know.
“When I’m dead, they’ll all be sorry.”
I think it promotes suicide, which is not an okay thing. I don’t blame Jay Asher, and I bet he wasn’t trying to make it seem this way, but that’s how I picked it up.
I can see why so many others love is book. The sad romance in it is defilingly an emotion that couldn’t be executed better. The way Clay feels about Hannah, and the emotions he shows when listening to the tapes is something that’s hard to create, and something that Asher was definitely able to do.
Many do say that Hannah Baker wasn’t realistically suicidal, and to that I have to mostly disagree with. All the reasons why seem a little small, but when they are all added up together, you get this big ball of emotions that is hard to move on from. And when you struggle with other mental diseases, the experiences can be much different for you than for a different mentally-healthy person. However, the fact that she barely tried to get help (there, I said it) shocked me and kind of frustrated me. Hannah Baker did try to get help, but it didn’t seem very obvious to me. She never spoke with it to her parents, when she was talking with Mr.Porter she was being very vague, and overall, she kept a lot to herself.
Maybe the fact that some people knew about her feelings, and no one did anything is all Hannah needed. Maybe just knowing that a small handful of people know, and that they aren’t doing anything meant that they didn’t care.
Okay, I have a confession to make, I sort of, kind of, slightly hated Hannah. Is that a horrible thing to say? Well, I have my reasons. Well, more like one reason. But it’s a big one.
When hannah was on Justin’s second tape, but technically Bryce’s tape, she explains how she witnessed a raping. Basically, it was a party and Jessica (Hannah’s ex-best friend) is drunk and basically asleep. Justin (Hannah’s ex-boyfriend and Jessica’s current boyfriend) is putting Jessica to sleep. Hannah (Who is drunk, I think, and emotionally unstable) is sitting on the floor by the bed. Bryce (Justin’s “friend” and a football player, a player, a jerk, and basically a woman-abuser) comes in. He wants to “have some fun” with Jessica. Justin says no at first but eventually caves. Then Bryce rapes Jessica. Jessica becomes a rape victim, and she may not even know it, but when Hannah puts it on her tapes, fourteen other people know. Fourteen other people know know about Jessica being a rape victim. That’s horrible. I failed to see Hannah as a victim for a good portion of the book.
Rating: 3 cookies
Overall, I was let down by the way this book showed very mature themes in poor ways. I don’t think that it’s Jay Asher’s writing, I actually like his writing, it’s just the unfortunately mature and controversial, theme. Not everyone is going to like it and I am one of those that don’t. What kept it from being a one/two cookie book, is the multidimensional themes. When Clay learned that he should always do something to help and helps another girl that he thinks is struggling, the way it negatively shows bulling, the sad love story, etc.
If you think you can handle it, read it. A lot of people liked it, you might. Unfortunately, I did not like it as much as I hoped.